It’s An Attack On Microsoft’s Last Line Of Defense (GOOG)


steve ballmer

Google announced yesterday that it is going to start charging all businesses that want to use Google Apps – Google’s online version of Microsoft Windows.

Previously, Google Apps had been free to use for businesses smaller than 10 people.

This news might mean that Google is sick of flushing money down rat hole and finally wants to cover its cost, despite the reduction in usage this will cause.

But it also might mean Google is about to take Apps development a whole lot more seriously. It might Google is going to start trying to make Google Apps something that all businessess find worth paying for.

If that’s the case, it has to make Microsoft nervous.

Microsoft is in a very precarious place at the moment.

It’s just released a new operating system that’s very different from its old one.

The new operating system forces enterprises and consumers around into a choice: what kind of new OS do they adopt?

In years past, there was really only one choice: Microsoft. 

But now, consumers are bringing their iOS devices and Android devices to work. They’re used to them. They love them. Meanwhile, consumers are not rushing out to buy Microsoft’s new tablet, Surface.

So now, enterprises have three choices: Microsoft, Google, or Apple.

The big advantage! Microso ft has had for years now is that its software suite for doing business, Microsoft Office, is far superior to anything Google or Apple had to offer.

But if Google is going to charge all clients for its Office clone, that might mean it is about to take Apps development a whole lot more seriously.

Maybe Google will finally build a real rival to Microsoft office’s crown jewel, Excel.

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Friday, December 7th, 2012 news No Comments

RIM Just Lost Another BlackBerry Customer


BlackBerry Jessie J

How did Zynga get so far behind in mobile?

Here’s one clue, from the Wall Street Journal’s report on CEO Mark Pincus’s troubled turnaround effort.

Until earlier this year, Pincus used a BlackBerry as his primary phone. He switched to the iPhone because that’s the primary phone that Zynga’s mobile users play its games on. (Zynga doesn’t make BlackBerry games.)

When Marissa Mayer took over as CEO of Yahoo, one of the first things she did was nix BlackBerrys as corporate devices. She got employees their choice of iPhones, Android phones, or Windows phones instead.

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Thursday, November 15th, 2012 news No Comments

How Crypto Keys Can Be Stolen Across the Cloud


How Crypto Keys Can Be Stolen Across the CloudMost people are happy to give their neighbours a spare house key in case of emergencies, but you probably wouldn’t want to give them your digital passwords. Now security researchers have shown that you may not have a choice, at least when it comes to cloud computing.

Cloud servers let users run simulations of an ordinary computer, called virtual machines (VMs), on remote hardware. A VM performs exactly as an ordinary computer would, but because it is entirely software-based, many of them can run on a single hardware base. Yinqian Zhang of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and colleagues have discovered that it is possible for one VM to steal cryptographic keys – used to keep your data secure – from another running on the same physical hardware, potentially putting cloud-computing users at risk.

The attack exploits the fact that both VMs share the same hardware cache, a memory component that stores data for use by the computer’s processor. The attacking VM fills the cache in such a way that the target VM, which is processing a cryptographic key, is likely to overwrite some of the attacker’s data. By looking at which parts of the cache are changed, the attacking VM can learn something about the key in use.

Zhang and team did not test the attack in the cloud for real, but used hardware similar to that employed by Amazon’s cloud service to try stealing a decryption key. They were able to reconstruct a 4096-bit key in just a few hours, as reported in a paper presented at the Computer and Communications Security conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, last month.

This attack won’t apply in all situations, as an attacker would have to establish a VM on the same hardware as yours, which isn’t always possible. What’s more, an attack would not work on hardware running more than two VMs. Still, those looking to use cloud services for high-security applications may want to reconsider.

Image by David Malan/Getty

How Crypto Keys Can Be Stolen Across the CloudNew Scientist reports, explores and interprets the results of human endeavour set in the context of society and culture, providing comprehensive coverage of science and technology news.

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Thursday, November 8th, 2012 news No Comments

hurricane load


AT&T and TMobile temporarily share networks in New York City and New Jersey, shoulder the posthurricane load

Communication has been all too spotty across much of New York City and New Jersey since Hurricane Sandy struck the region, and those who can get through on their cellphones have found themselves on particularly crowded networks. AT&T and T-Mobile are providing some much-needed, if temporary, relief: the two have struck a deal to share their GSM and 3G networks in the area with no roaming fees or plan changes while the networks come back, with the best-functioning network taking precedence in any given connection. A return to the normal state of affairs hasn’t been fixed in stone and will likely depend on many, many factors, but it’s a much appreciated gesture for residents who might not have a choice to relocate for a vital phone call.

Continue reading AT&T and T-Mobile temporarily share networks in New York City and New Jersey, shoulder the post-hurricane load

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AT&T and T-Mobile temporarily share networks in New York City and New Jersey, shoulder the post-hurricane load originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 31 Oct 2012 15:36:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 news No Comments

Aereo opens its streaming TV to Mac and Windows web browsers


Aereo starts streaming TV to Mac and Windows web browsers

If you’d wanted to watch Aereo’s unique antenna-to-internet TV streaming until today, you had to tune in from an iOS device or Roku box. That’s not a lot of choice for placeshifting, is it? A fresh update to the company’s streaming service has widened the choices considerably for New Yorkers to include all the major browsers on Macs and Windows PCs. As long as you’re using a recent version of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera or Safari, you can catch up on Ion or Telemundo while you’re checking email. About the only restrictions left are the continued lack of Android support and occasional lawsuits from traditionalist broadcasters.

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Aereo opens its streaming TV to Mac and Windows web browsers originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 17 Oct 2012 21:40:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thursday, October 18th, 2012 news No Comments

Amazon To Hire 50,000 People For The Holiday Season (AMZN)


Amazon is going to hire 50,000 seasonal workers for the holidays. Pretty awesome.

The press release:

Amazon is Hiring for 50,000 Seasonal Positions in the U.S. This Holiday

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct. 16, 2012– Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) is hiring for more than 50,000 seasonal positions at its fulfillment centers across the U.S. this holiday season.

“In addition to the thousands of people we’ve hired for full-time jobs this year, we’re proud to be adding more than 50,000 seasonal jobs this holiday,” said Dave Clark, vice president, Global Customer Fulfillment. “We’re hiring at our sites across the U.S. for talented individuals to help us deliver a great experience for our customers this holiday season. Temporary associates play a critical role in meeting increased customer demand during the holiday season, and we expect thousands of temporary associates will stay on in full-time positions.”

Amazon employs more than 20,000 people across its 40 U.S. fulfillment centers and pays its full-time, permanent employees 30 percent more than what traditional retail store employees earn—and that doesn’t even include the stock grants that full-time employees receive, which over the past five years have added an average of 9 percent to base pay annually.

For its full-time, permanent positions, Amazon offers competitive hourly wages, Amazon stock grants, and comprehensive benefits, including medical and dental coverage, company-paid vision, company-paid life insurance, company-paid disability insurance, paid vacation, a 401(k) plan with a company match and discount programs. This year, Amazon launched Career Choice, an innovative program designed to expand the choices available to associates in their future career, whether that’s at Amazon or in another industry. The Career Choice Program provides associates with a resource for building the job skills needed for today’s most in-demand and well-paying careers, such as aircraft mechanics, computer-aided design, machine tool technology, medical laboratory science, dental hygiene, and nursing by offering to pre-pay 95 percent of tuition and fees at accredited schools.

Interested applicants can apply online at

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Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 news No Comments

Amazon Opening TV and Movie Development Center


Amazon Opening TV and Movie Development Center in LondonWe’ve known for some time that Amazon is planning to make original TV content. But now Bezos and co have announced that Amazon is turning its back on the US, instead choosing to develop a center in London to spearhead its move into media.

The Telegraph reports that the Seattle-based firm has named London “the obvious choice” for the new “digital media development” center, because “Britain has led the way in pioneering on-demand services which allow users to rent films and television over the internet.”

Amazon has announced today that it’s taking over an eight-story, 47,000 square foot office near Barbican tube station, in the heart of London. Speaking to the Telegraph, Paula Byrne, the center’s managing director, explained:

“I wouldn’t underplay the value that the UK has brought to this sector. When you look at the specialist skills that are available here, it is the obvious place to come… Innovation is part of the Amazon DNA and we are creating a centre of excellence to design and develop the next generation of TV and film services for a wide range of digital devices.”

Amazon currently owns two London-based on-demand media services—LoveFilm and Pushbutton—and the staff from those are excepted to move in to the new building right away. From there, who knows what direction Amazon will head in. [Telegraph]

Image by gothopotam

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Monday, July 23rd, 2012 digital No Comments

Jewelry Made by Mapping Out Your Check-Ins [Foursquare]


Most Ridiculous Foursquare Thing: Jewelry Made by Mapping Out Your Check-InsIf you’ve ever stopped and wondered why you obsessively check in to Foursquare wherever you go, Rachel Binx and Sha Hwang have the answer. They’ve come up with a unique jewelry line that lets Foursquare users create custom geometrical designs based on where they’ve been.

On their website, meshu, you can either login to Foursquare and use its online editor to choose what locations you want to shape your piece, like a connect the dots puzzle. Or, you can just load a map of any city and manually add points anywhere you want. The creation process lets you be as abstract as you want, and once you’re finished you have the choice of creating earrings, necklaces, or cufflinks which are all manufactured through 3D printing or laser cutting processes. So for somewhere between $75 and $150, you can claim the title of mayor of questionable taste.

Most Ridiculous Foursquare Thing: Jewelry Made by Mapping Out Your Check-Ins

[Meshu via Ubergizmo]

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Thursday, May 31st, 2012 news No Comments

Gaia Soda Wants You To Ditch Your Fancy Soda Stream


Gaia Soda

Whether you bought into the home carbonation craze or not, a lot of consumers are voicing concerns that gadgets like the Soda Stream are just another green fad.

The CO2 cartridges are expensive to refill, and like the water bottles they’re meant to replace, they can easily pile up in landfills. 

Enter Gaia Organic Soda System, a company that positions itself as the anti-Soda Stream with a line of organic all-natural syrups. Rather than rip off consumers with CO2 refill cartridges that cost $13 to $15 plus shipping, Gaia lets customers fill their 12 oz. cylinder near their homes for $3 to $5. They even rolled out an interactive map to help them locate a refill station. 

“When you refill closer to home, its’ a greener choice,” the company says on its site. “In addition, we’ve developed a delicious, all natural, and organic line of flavor syrups in both regular and diet.” 

Gaia may very well be a cheaper alternative to Soda Stream, but frankly anything sounds better than rotting your teeth with a can of soda. If you’ve been trying to kick the habit, we recommend going the old-fashioned route with a twist of lime and some cheap Pellegrino. 

DON’T MISS: 13 health gimmicks you can stop wasting money on > 

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Thursday, May 17th, 2012 news No Comments

Next Issue Media launches on Android, $15 a month for access to 32 magazines


Next Issue Media launches on Android, $15 a month for access to 32 magazines
If you’ve taken issue with your usual choices for buying magazines on your tablet, be it pay-per-issue or per-subscription, you’re not alone. If you’ll recall, it was nearly a year ago that Next Issue Media launched the preliminary version of its “Hulu-meets-magazines” app on the Galaxy Tab, and it’s finally ready to release this physical newsstand alternative officially. After raking in a slew of deals last November, its Android 3.0 app is now available — users can fork over a monthly fee of $10 to access all of its monthly and bi-weekly content, while an extra five bucks adds in weekly content, essentially giving you access to every publication on offer. Singular subscriptions are also available for two to 10 bucks, and you’ll currently have a choice of 32 mags from the likes of Car and Driver to The New Yorker. Interestingly, TechCrunch notes that NIM plans to get the app over to iOS “soon” — it’ll surely be interesting to see how it competes with Apple’s own Newsstand. You’ll find more info at the via links below, and you can flip over to the source for details about a 30-day trial offer.

Next Issue Media launches on Android, $15 a month for access ! to 32 ma gazines originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 04 Apr 2012 06:11:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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